Myths About Stroke
Stroke myths. What are the more common misconceptions we have about stroke? First, let us define stroke clearly. A stroke is an attack on the brain in which blood supply to the brain is disrupted. This causes brain cells to die, resulting in brain damage. A stroke is an emergency and needs to be treated immediately.
It only happens to older people
A very common myth amongst the younger set (below 60) is that strokes only happen to older people above 60. While it is true that ischemic strokes mainly affect those aged 60 and above, younger people are increasingly suffering more strokes although the cause of it is uncertain.
Bloodletting from finger tips
There is a myth circulating on the Internet that encourages bloodletting from the finger tips to treat someone suffering a stroke. This is false information and potentially dangerous.
Actually, the best thing to do is to get to the nearest hospital emergency department or call 995. With hospital treatment, doctors are able to dissolve or remove the blood clots that cause most strokes and reduce the damage caused by them. However, patients must seek treatment early enough, and with enough brain tissue left to salvage.
Pricking the fingers to let blood out means the same areas may bleed again when doctors try to thrombolyse or dissolve the blood clot in the brain. This may cause more problems or complicate matters.
You will be disabled after a stroke
Disability is possible, but many stroke survivors recover to full function or with minimal symptoms. Again, the patients need to reach a hospital early enough, and must be suitable for and receive reperfusion treatment in time. So having a stroke is not the end. Reach the hospital early to maximize your chances of recovery.
Upon recovery, medications for stroke are not needed anymore
In reality, most of the medications given to stroke survivors are meant to minimise the risk of future strokes from happening. If you have gone through one and were fortunate enough to have minimal disability after that, you should not risk having another one. At all costs.
This article has been fact-checked by Dr Wee Chee Keong, neurologist, Capernaum Neurology Pte Ltd, Mount Elizabeth Hospital.